Home Top 10 Top audio options for gamers

Top audio options for gamers

0
Top audio options for gamers

[ad_1]

Finding the best gaming headset for your console or PC can be a tough task. Not only are there lots of compatibility concerns, but there are also a number of elements you need to consider from comfort and audio quality to microphone performance.

This makes it virtually impossible to judge the quality of a gaming headset from specs alone. Fortunately, we’ve stepped in to help find the best gaming headset options for every budget.

Every gaming headset we review has been thoroughly tested by our team of experts. We compare the build quality with other headsets, while also testing audio, battery life and the microphone. We also endeavour to test every feature, such as customisable lighting, haptic feedback and ANC.

We update this list multiple times every year, ensuring it reflects the best gaming headset options on the market. This way, you can make sure you’re getting top quality for your money.

And if you want to narrow down your search for a particular platform, check out our Best PS5 Headset and Best Xbox Headset articles. Those headsets have been tested specifically with the named platforms.

Or alternatively, if you’re looking for headphones for just music playback, have a look at our Best Headphones, Best Wireless Earbud and Best Wireless Headphones lists as well.

Best gaming headset at a glance

How We Test

Learn more about how we test headsets

We use every headset we test for at least a week. During that time, we’ll check it for ease of use and put it through its paces by using it in a variety of games, as well as playing music in order to get the full experience.

We also check each headset’s software (if applicable) to see how easy it is to customise and set up.

EPOS H3PRO Hybrid

Best overall gaming headset

Pros

  • Extremely comfortable
  • Multiplatform support
  • Great audio quality
  • Detachable microphone

Cons

  • More expensive than other headsets

The EPOS H3PRO Hybrid is one of those rare gaming headsets that excels in absolutely every department. During testing, we found it to be extremely comfortable, compact enough to use on the go, and sporting a large range of features to justify the high price. 

We found the closed design and ANC (active noise cancellation) support to be particularly useful, blocking out background noise so we could concentrate on slaying that difficult Elden Ring boss, or listen to a podcast during the commute to work without disturbance. 

We were also incredibly impressed with the range of connectivity options, with the USB-A dongle, Bluetooth and option for wired dongle ensuring you can use this headset for pretty much any gaming platform – only Xbox Wireless is missing. 

Our only major issue with this headset is the price, as you can find cheaper options with ANC such as the Razer Opus X. But the EPOS H3PRO Hybrid remains our favourite gaming headset currently available, with the best all-round quality of any other model we’ve tested.

Reviewer: Gemma Ryles
Full review: EPOS H3PRO Hybrid review

Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense

Best for haptic feedback

Pros

  • Comfortable for long periods of wear
  • HyperSense offers fantastic immersion
  • Deep bass
  • Features Razer Chroma RGB lighting

Cons

  • Steep price for wired headphones
  • You’ll need an adaptor for smartphones and Switch in portable mode

The Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense is one of the best gaming headsets that we’ve ever reviewed. Our testing showed the audio delivered via the 50mm drivers to be superb, while we also loved the classy and comfortable design, allowing us to wear for long periods of time without any discomfort. 

It’s the unique HyperSense feature that impressed us the most though, with the haptic technology providing haptic feedback during gameplay. If a grenade exploded near us in a game, we’d feel it replicated by vibrations via the headset, creating a far more immersive experience compared to other alternatives that we’ve reviewed. 

The Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense is supported by multiple platforms thanks to its USB-A connection – we were disappointed to see that it rules out Nintendo Switch in portable play without an adaptor, but that’s the compromise you have to make for that haptic feedback technology. But we found it worked without issue on PC and PS5. 

You can find more versatile gaming headsets at this price, such as the Razer BlackShark V2, which uses a 3.5mm jack connection instead to work across a wider range of platforms, but we were so impressed with the Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense that’s we still strongly recommend it if you’re not fussed about cross-platform use.

Reviewer: Gemma Ryles
Full review: Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense review

Astro A30 Wireless

Best multiplatform gaming headset

Pros

  • Sleek, modern look
  • Energetic audio
  • Solid microphone

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Lack of swivel adjustment can make an awkward fit

There are lots and lots of gaming headsets that claim to offer multiplatform support, but very few actually offer wireless support for every single device. That’s mostly because the PS5 and Xbox Series X both use different wireless standards, while the likes of PCs, Nintendo Switch and smartphones rely on Bluetooth. However, the Astro A30 Wireless has found a workaround.

At checkout, you’re able to pick which adaptor you fancy to make sure your new headset is compatible with either your PS5 or Xbox Series X. And if you want support for both consoles, you’re able to buy the second USB adaptor separately. You can even purchase a USB-C adapter which will work wirelessly with a Nintendo Switch or smartphone, although Bluetooth is integrated at default too. There’s even a headphone jack here, just in case you’re not ready to commit to wireless.

The Astro’s incredible versatility doesn’t stop there, as during our review, we noted that the headset comes with both an integrated and Boom microphone. The latter offers more accurate voice capture, but it’s nice to be able to detach it and still be able to voice chat with friends while on the go.

Our tests also show that the Astro A30 Wireless provides stellar audio quality and can last around 27 hours on a single charge. Our only major bugbear is the steep price, but if you’ve got multiple devices to connect to, it’s a more convenient option than buying a different headset for each system.

Reviewer: Reece Bithrey
Full review: Astro A30 Wireless review

Astro A10 Gen 2

Best budget gaming headset

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable ear cups
  • Good microphone
  • Strong audio

Cons

  • Mic isn’t detachable
  • Feels a little plasticky

The Astro A10 Gen 2 is a fantastic gaming headset for anyone that’s on a budget. Sporting a wired design and a 3.5mm audio jack, it can be paired up with multiple platforms, including the PS5, Switch and PC, making it a good choice for anyone who likes to switch up how they game. 

It does not have a particularly flashy design with no RGB lighting in sight, but it does come in multiple colourways and has a fantastic weight of just 246g. Our reviewer noted that it could be worn for hours on end without it pushing down on their neck, with padded earbuds that felt comfortable even while the reviewer was wearing glasses. 

And for less than £50, we were blown away by the audio. Our reviewer was able to track enemies in Hades and could hear the distinct chattering of students in Two Point Campus without any issues, noting that the audio quality was consistent between devices with no audio dips. 

The only reason this headset won’t work for you is if you’re after something more high-end, which you can find in the EPOS H3PRO Hybrid or Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense. However, anyone who’s trying to save some money or is even looking for their first gaming headset should consider the Astro A10 Gen 2, as it boasts excellent audio for a fraction of the price.

Reviewer: Gemma Ryles
Full review: Astro A10 Gen 2 review

Asus ROG Cetra True Wireless

Best True Wireless Gaming Headset

Pros

  • Marvellous audio with plenty of detail
  • Suave looks with a smattering of RGB
  • Great hybrid ANC

Cons

  • Temperamental touch controls
  • Software is a little cheap-feeling

The only pair of gaming earbuds to grace this list, the Asus ROG Cetra True Wireless are light and compact, with our review claiming that they created a comfortable and firm seal on the ears, which helped to get the full effect of the hybrid ANC. 

We liked the multiple ANC modes that the earbuds offered, with the heavy ANC helping to block out super-noisy environments like public transport, with the lighter option allowing for more awareness of your surroundings. We thought that the ANC offerings combined with the superb audio made these a versatile pair of earbuds, also capable of being used for music playback. 

These earbuds sport a Bluetooth connection, making them an appealing choice for anyone who wants to game on multiple platforms. They also offer great portability, which not every gaming headset has. 

The only real drawback we could find in these earbuds was the battery life, which comes to a total of 27 hours including the charging case and 4.5 hours from the buds alone. While having a shorter lifespan than a lot of headsets, we still thought that these earbuds worked great for gaming, with fantastically detailed and balanced audio.

Reviewer: Reece Bithrey
Full review: Asus ROG Cetra True Wireless review

HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless

Best battery life

Pros

  • Big, meaty sound
  • Sturdy construction
  • Simple controls
  • Incredible battery life

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Lack of RGB may not please some
  • Lacklustre software

The HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless is a great headset for anyone that wants to game on the PC and PS5, coming with a 2.4GHz USB-A receiver, which we found remarkably simple to set up. 

We thought that the headset felt properly premium, from the metal earcups to the red-accented headband. It also struck us as very stylish, lacking some flashier features like RGB lighting but having a more mature and sleek aesthetic. 

In terms of audio, our reviewer noted that the headset has a big, meaty sound profile that comes with lots of volume to boot, which is ideal for gaming. Our review also mentioned how the Cloud Alpha Wireless packs a lot of nuance and detail, which also makes it an ideal choice for anyone hoping to listen to music or podcasts. 

The shining feature of this headset has to be the battery life, which clocks in at over 300 hours. We noted that the battery didn’t appear to drain, with our reviewer not needing to charge the headset for the two weeks it was used. So, for anyone who’s looking for a headset that can last through the night without issue, there is no better choice than the HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless.

Reviewer: Reece Bithrey
Full review: HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless review

Xbox Wireless Headset

Best Xbox headset

Pros

  • Great sound and powerful bass
  • Clever design
  • Easy-to-use controls
  • Incredible value

Cons

  • Plasticky build
  • Mic monitoring could be a little louder
  • No Active Noise Cancelling

Our extensive tests show that the Xbox Wireless Headset is the best gaming headset choice for anyone who owns Microsoft’s consoles. We were able to easily connect it to our Xbox Series X wirelessly, while also using our smartphone simultaneously for Discord chats. 

We also really liked the Xbox-themed design, and found the rotating control dial allowed us to easily alter the volume without blindingly searching for small buttons. We were also impressed with the headset’s wide range of features, which includes Dolby Atmos that creates an immersive 3D audio effect. 

We found the audio quality to be superb during testing, although we do recommend fiddling with the equaliser to find a soundscape to your liking, as the audio sounds a little muddy to us out of the box. 

You can admittedly find plenty of other gaming headsets that have been designed with the Xbox in mind, such as the HyperX CloudX Stinger Core Wireless and Corsair HS75 XB Wireless, but Microsoft’s own headset is our favourite, mainly due to its incredible value.

Reviewer: Esat Dedezade
Full review: Xbox Wireless Headset review

Sony Pulse 3D

Best PlayStation headset

Pros

  • Perfect companion for PS5
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Spatial 3D Audio is both impressive and immersive
  • Internal microphone sounds surprisingly great

Cons

  • Battery life could be better
  • Feels cheap in some areas

The Sony Pulse 3D Headset is our favourite choice for PlayStation consoles. Not only did we love the design that perfectly compliments the PS5, but we were also hugely impressed by the Spatial 3D Audio, which makes you feel like you’re right there in the middle of the action.

This feature is only supported in a few first-party games, such as Demon’s Souls, Returnal and Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart – we found that It works wonderfully for the most part, but did notice that the audio quality does suffer a little when activated. 

The Sony Pulse 3D Headset offers a wireless connection to the PS5 via the USB-A dongle. We’re disappointed that there’s no Bluetooth support here, meaning we were unable to connect it to our Nintendo Switch or mobile phone when on the go. Fortunately, we could connect it to the PC though, so it still offers a little bit of versatility. 

But during testing, we found the battery life to be very underwhelming, only managing around 12 hours of use before requiring a recharge. Our testing data shows that many premium wireless headsets can last as long as 20 hours, so the Sony Pulse 3D Headset is significantly off the pace in that regard. But we found it to charge via the PS5 in stand-by mode, so it certainly shouldn’t be considered a deal breaker.

If you like the idea of a Sony-branded gaming headset, then it’s also worth checking out the Inzone H7. It’s been designed for both PS5 and PC, and offers superior audio quality. But it’s also twice the cost, so you’ll need to stretch the budget further to opt for this as an alternative.

Reviewer: Jade King
Full review: Sony Pulse 3D Headset review

Razer Barracuda Pro

Best for portability

Pros

  • Remarkably comfortable
  • Great audio
  • Easy to switch between devices
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Bland design
  • Buttons can be confusing

If you want headphones for on-the-go music playback as well as a gaming headset to chat to your mates online, then buying two separate devices may be a needless expense. Instead, you could purchase the Razer Barracuda Pro, which has been designed to excel at both scenarios.

This headset is supported on multiple platforms since it uses both Bluetooth and a USB-C dongle. Xbox is the only major platform that doesn’t support wireless play, although the lack of a headphone jack for wired connection is disappointing. We really enjoyed using the Easy-Switch feature, allowing us to swap between connections by just a press of a button, which we found to be invaluable when answering a phone call in the middle of a gaming session.

The inclusion of ANC technology allows you to block out background noise, whether you’re walking down a street or filtering out the screams of a barking dog at home. We were also impressed with the 50mm Razer TriForce drivers, delivering detailed audio.

The biggest issue with this headset is the steep price. Fortunately, the Razer Barracuda X is a good alternative at a significantly more affordable price, and is well worth considering if you’re not fussed about features such as ANC and Bluetooth connectivity. Although if you want a gaming headset that can double up as a pair ANC-toting headphones for on-the-go music playback, the Razer Barracuda Pro remains our top recommendation.

Reviewer: Gemma Ryles
Full review: Razer Barracuda Pro review

Razer BlackShark V2 Pro 2023

Best for mic quality

Pros

  • Brilliantly clear microphone
  • Generous battery life
  • Comfy cushions

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Synapse app is a bother

The Razer BlackShark V2 Pro (2023) is one of the best gaming headsets for eSports players or streamers. It features an incredible microphone that has been massively improved compared to the previous model. It has a 9.9mm condenser microphone running a 32kHz sampling rate, which we found provided a deep and warm response, free of background noise. The arm attaching the mic is stiffer, which stopped it from gradually drifting away during gameplay so you won’t need to keep readjusting it as you play. 

The headset itself uses the same Razer Triforce as many other Razer headsets. We thought that they sounded glorious; mid-ranges sang beautifully, and the audio came through surprisingly wide for closed-back ear cups. Playing around with the Synapse EQ brought about even better changes, with games like Resident Evil Village and Doom Eternal sounding more immersive and eerie.

In terms of connectivity, the BlackShark V2 Pro charges via a USB-C. It can be linked to devices through a USB receiver or Bluetooth, giving it much more versatility than standard wired headsets. We were able to connect it to mobile phones and the Nintendo Switch, with audio sounding consistent over these devices. However, the lack of a 3.5mm audio jack was a little limiting and means that any Xbox Series X/S gamers won’t be able to utilise this headset. 

Battery life was very impressive. Razer claims that it can last for around 70 hours when connected through the 2.4Ghz receiver, and 90 hours over Bluetooth. While we did not reach these heights during testing, we felt that these quoted numbers were eminently reasonable, with the battery life drained by half after a week of use. 

If you’re looking for a headset with more premium features – such as haptic feedback or ANC – the Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense or the Asus ROG Cetra True Wireless earbuds may be better picks. But if you’re after a quality microphone to chat with friends or build up a streaming community over platforms like Twitch, then the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro is definitely the headset for you. 

Reviewer: Callum Bains
Full Review: Razer BlackShark V2 Pro (2023)

HyperX Cloud Stinger 2

Best budget

Pros

  • Extremely comfortable
  • High quality spatial sound
  • Simple and accessible controls

Cons

  • Lightweight design makes it feel flimsy
  • Mic needs a modicum of adjusting to get it to pick up your voice

Gaming headsets can be very costly, which is why the HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 is a breath of fresh air. This headset comes in at just $49.99/£44.99, making it a great choice for anyone who’s just stepping into the gaming world and doesn’t want to break the bank. 

Enveloped in leatherette and memory foam, this headset is comfortable enough to be worn for long stretches of time. The 275-gram weight also means that it won’t drag down on your neck during use, although this did result in it feeling frighteningly flimsy on occasion. 

While this headset could be used for work, there is no mistaking it for a gaming peripheral. The microphone cannot be detached and is not foldable. During testing, our reviewer’s voice come across as overly softened if the mic was too far away from their face. Once positioned correctly, however, there was no compression, pop-on sibilant sounds, or any drop in quality; ideal for any casual or competitive gamers and very impressive for its low price point. 

Dishonoured 2 on the Xbox Series S sounded very immersive. It managed to tune into smaller sounds as well as proximate ones, with the sound cues coming off as clear and crisp. The inclusion of spatial audio allowed our reviewer to track the location of rival players in Fortnite, providing a useful edge in tight contests. There is no ANC support here, so you won’t be getting the most premium experience available, but it performed very admirably for the price point. 

The HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 is a sleek, no-nonsense gaming headset that offers reliable audio and microphone quality. It’s also more than comfortable enough to wear for hours on end, allowing it to double as a staple in your work-from-home setup in a pinch. If you’re after something more premium, the EPOS H3PRO Hybrid or Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense are great picks. But if you’re looking for something cheap and cheerful, the HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 is a no-brainer. 

Reviewer: Imogen Donovan
Full Review: HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 Review

Sony Inzone H9

Best PlayStation headset

Pros

  • Sleek design
  • ANC is good at blocking out noise
  • Enjoyable, energetic audio

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Software is a little fiddly
  • Mic sounds a tad thin

The Sony Inzone H9 is a premium headset that’s perfect for PlayStation gamers. Its design is heavily inspired by the PS5, with smooth plastic earcups that stick to the same white and black colour as the console. Unlike the Inzone H7, it comes with smooth leather. Our reviewer noted that this was very comfortable around the head and ears, not least on the earcups. 

The audio from the Inzone H9 is very enjoyable and energetic with a decent soundstage. It managed to deliver low-end frequencies better than most other headsets, going as low as 5KHz. Some tracks did overlap in areas, but generally, there was a great sense of placement between instruments and vocals. Enemies in Sniper Elite V could be pinpointed through audio cues, making this a fantastic pick for any first-person shooter enthusiasts. 

The inclusion of ANC technology also opens the door for a more immersive gaming experience. With ANC turned on, it blocked out the sounds of the keyboard and fan, as well as people talking nearby. The ambient mode can be easily activated via a small button on the left earcup and sounded clear and natural, if not a little compressed from time to time. 

Battery life tops out at around 32 hours, on par with most premium headsets on the market. In testing, it lasted between 30 to 32 hours before it needed to be recharged. This is more than serviceable – especially given the added drain of noise cancellation – and means that you can play for hours on end without interruption. 

If you’re looking for a premium headset for your PlayStation 5, the Sony Inzone H9 is an easy recommendation. It also works over PC and the Nintendo Switch thanks to the inclusion of Bluetooth and the bundled 2.4GHz receiver and provides a crisp and lively performance that’s more than reliable enough for gaming. 

Reviewer: Reece Bithrey
Full Review: Sony Inzone H9 Review

We also considered…

FAQs

What is a 7.1 gaming headset?

Headphones with a 7.1 surround sound can make audio seem as if it’s coming from a specific location, which is helpful to determine where your enemies are lurking. This feature is often only available on PC.

Can you use a gaming headset for work?

Some gaming headsets can be used for work, but be mindful that many have garish designs and can often see lots of sound leakage.

Can you use a gaming headset with a Nintendo Switch?

The Nintendo Switch and the Switch OLED now have Bluetooth support, so can be used with headsets that have a 3.5mm audio jack or Bluetooth.

Comparison specifications

UK RRP

USA RRP

EU RRP

CA RRP

AUD RRP

Manufacturer

Quiet Mark Accredited

IP rating

Battery Hours

Wireless charging

Fast Charging

Size (Dimensions)

Weight

ASIN

Release Date

First Reviewed Date

Model Number

Audio Resolution

Driver (s)

Noise Cancellation?

Connectivity

Colours

Frequency Range

Headphone Type

Sensitivity

Voice Assistant

[ad_2]

Source link

Previous article A Dermatologist Shares 3 Natural Tips To Smooth Cellulite
Next article Best Blender for Margaritas in 2023
Harmony Evans is an award-winning author of Harlequin Kimani Romance, African-American romance, and so on. Harmony Evans is an award-winning author for Harlequin Kimani Romance, the leading publisher of African-American romance. Her 2nd novel, STEALING KISSES, will be released in November 2013. Harmony is a single mom to a beautiful, too-smart-for-her-own-good daughter, who makes her grateful for life daily. Her hobbies include cooking, baking, knitting, reading, and of course, napping and also review some of the best-selling and popular brands and services in the market and also write comprehensive blogs.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here